Midas Reading List

by Midas

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The world is in lockdown and it’s a challenging time for all, not least the live events and A/V industry, with mass gatherings put under a temporary ban throughout the world, sound engineers, artists, techies and just about everybody employed in Live Sound has found themselves out of work and with plenty of time on their hands. Still there is no reason why we can’t make lemonade out of life’s lemons, this represents the perfect opportunity to sharpen your skills, increase your knowledge and come out the other side of this Corona virus crisis eminently more powerful and employable than you were before!

Knowledge Is Power!

We’ve compiled a list of books that will sharpen your skills and advance your learning to help you level up in your career. There is an assumed level of knowledge in this list, for the most part we are considering University standard reading here. Midas and Music Tribe are lucky to have some of the most advanced, forward-thinking minds in the audio industry and they have shared the books that have empowered them. Packed with suggestions from some of the leading names at Midas who have shared with us the books that guided their learning and forged their careers. So here are the books and articles that Midas think you should be reading to make the most of your down time:

The Creativity Code: How AI is learning to write, paint and think – Marcus Du Sautoy

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As you will already know, we at Midas have embraced the potential that AI and machine learning can bring to the audio industry; our soon to be released Heritage-D console is packed with features that utilise this. The prospect may be scary, it might even disgust you, but one thing is for sure; the AI wave is currently surging towards the idyllic land that is the music industry and you want to be ahead of the programmers!
Focusing on the philosophical side of AI, Mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy considers something that we have previously considered as uniquely human; creativity, and how AI is beginning to creep into the creative world.
A must read for anyone that wants to be ahead of the curve in the creative industries!

Mastering Audio: The Art & The Science - Bob Katz

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One of the world’s most famous mastering engineers has written the definitive work on mastering, and in the process has created an indispensable resource for anyone working with audio.
There is now a huge number of published books covering all aspects of audio engineering and music production. They all offer something useful to the intended audience, but there is a select subset of books which are must-haves — books which manage to provide real-world practical advice backed up by easily understandable and relevant theory. Bob Katz’ Mastering Audio is essential reading and was recommended by almost every Team member at Midas Consoles that was surveyed for this list.


Audio Metering Measurements, Standards & Practices - Eddy Brixen

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Let’s face it, audio metering can be confusing. In this book author Eddie Brixon lays out all of the up to date information that you need to clear that confusion and move the needle on your understanding! Brixen clearly and helpfully describes the various standards used, whilst providing theory where appropriate.
Featuring fantastically enlightening information in areas such as human hearing and decibels, signal types and structures, immersive audio as well as Definitions of terms such as LKFS, LUFS, gating, LRA, etc. This is essential learning for any self-respecting sound engineer.

In this comprehensive guide, Brixen takes the reader through the complex and confusing aspects of audio metering, imparting the knowledge and skills needed to utilize optional signal levels and produce high-quality audio.
Covering all aspects of this fundamental subject, Audio Metering: Measurements, Standards and Practice begins with the basics, such as audio definitions and digital techniques, and works up to more complex topics, like hearing and psychoacoustics

The Mixing Engineers Handbook – Bob Owsinski

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With the prestigious title of being the best-selling book in the audio industry, Bob Owsinki’s mixing engineer’s handbook is now on its fifth edition and has kept ahead of every step that music technology has made throughout the years. This latest edition considers techniques that range from the essential to the advanced, such as; the six steps of a mix, mixing for EVERY genre, sound replacement and how arrangement can impact your mix. If you haven’t already read this handbook, now is the perfect time!

Mixing music - the process of combining and shaping the component parts of a song into a polished, completed recording -was once considered an unteachable art. The first edition of Bobby Owsinski's The Mixing Engineer's Handbook destroyed that myth forever, breaking the craft of mixing down into discrete, understandable steps and showing musicians, audio engineers, and producers exactly how to get great results in the studio. The book has since become the go-to text on mixing for recording programs in colleges and universities around the world.

Now available in a completely revised fourth edition, The Mixing Engineer's Handbook remains the best, most up-to-date source for mastering the art and science of creating pro-quality mixes

The Production Sound Handbook – Don Atkinson

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Down time means studio time! If you are looking for an all-inclusive guide to sound production, then Mr. Atkinson is the Don! A detailed and technical guide to everything sound production, covering topics such as basic sound principles within the industry, measuring and monitoring sound, microphone types, the audio mixing console, the studio floor, editing techniques, and the roles and responsibilities of the sound supervisor. The handbook considers the essential foundation techniques of yesteryear as well as well as essential modern methods for the digital age. This includes some fantastic information on, on-location work as well as working with video (did someone say a new role as a broadcast engineer!?) All information is supported by extensive informative diagrams and technical drawings.

Handbook for Sound Engineers – Glen M Ballou

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Now in its fifth edition, which should tell you something about the importance of this book, Glen M Ballou has considered all evolutions in audio technology throughout the years to ensure his handbook remains as indispensable as it was when the first edition was released.

With contributions from many of the top professionals in the field, including Glen Ballou on interpretation systems, intercoms, assistive listening, and fundamentals and units of measurement, David Miles Huber on MIDI, Bill Whitlock on audio transformers and preamplifiers, Steve Dove on consoles, DAWs, and computers, Pat Brown on fundamentals, gain structures, and test and measurement, Ray Rayburn on virtual systems, digital interfacing, and preamplifiers, Ken Pohlmann on compact discs, and Dr Wolfgang Ahnert on computer-aided sound system design and room-acoustical fundamentals for auditoriums and concert halls, the Handbook for Sound Engineers is a must for serious audio and acoustic engineers.

From the studio, to the cinema, to large venues and churches the Handbook for Sound Engineers has all bases covered.

DAFX – Digital Audio FX – Udo Zolzer

As you can imagine, Digital Audio FX are a primary concern for many Midas team members, we pride ourselves on the audio effect plug-ins that go into our products and trust us when we say years of research go into making the effects in our unites the finest in the industry. It would be remis of us not to include this title from Udo Zolzer that has proven pivotal during the studies of many of our team members. You know just how to apply the reverb and delay to get your artists sounding at their best, but do you know what is really going on inside the unit? This guide pulls back the curtain to clear the mysticism of DSP and effects.

Digital Audio Effects (DAFX) covers the use of digital signal processing and its applications to sounds
Discussing digital audio effects from both an introductory level, for musicians up to the advanced level, for signal processing engineers. Zolzer explains what can be done in the digital processing of sounds in the form of computer algorithms and sound examples resulting from these transformations Connecting
all of this information with essential DSP algorithms for sound processing, providing an excellent guide.

Principles Of Digital Audio – Ken C Pohlmann

Gain a thorough understanding of digital audio tools, techniques, and practices from this completely revised and expanded resource. Written by industry pioneer and Audio Engineering Society Fellow Ken C. Pohlmann, Principles of Digital Audio, this Sixth Edition describes the technologies behind today's audio equipment in a clear, practical style. Covering basic theory to the latest technological advancements, the book explains how to apply digital conversion, processing, compression, storage, streaming, and transmission concepts. New chapters on Blu-ray, speech coding, and low bit-rate coding are also included in this bestselling guide.

From connections to codecs, every chapter in this book is packed with need-to-know for every sound engineer!


Sound and Recording – Francis Rumsey & Tim McCormick

Sound engineering is not for the faint of heart, intense situations, intense technical details and intense personalities. For anyone seeking a hard-core source of knowledge on the technical side of audio engineering and recording from the “how technology works” perspective, you’d be hard pressed to find a better written, more in-depth book than this this offering from Rumsey & McCormick. Incredibly detailed and thorough in all respects, this is simply the quintessential publication for audio principles and engineering.

Providing vital reading for audio students and trainee engineers, this guide is ideal for anyone who wants a solid grounding in both theory and industry practices in audio, sound and recording. There are many books on the market covering "how to work it" when it comes to audio equipment―but Sound and Recording isn’t one of them. Instead, you’ll gain an understanding of "how it works" with this approachable guide to audio systems.

Master Handbook of Acoustics – F. Alton Everest

From the studio to the stage, the sounds you create, record and enforce are always at the mercy of acoustics. The conditions and environments in which we listen have a profound effect on what we hear. So if you take your labour as a sound engineer seriously you are going to want to be as knowledgeable as possible on matters such as atmospheric physics, how sound propagates open and closed spaces, reflections, comb filtering, room optimization etc. so that you are as comfortable in an auditorium or concert hall as you are in designing an optimal home studio. Alton Everest invites you to climb this mountain of learning.

Build your own acoustic environments such as recording studios, control rooms, and home listening rooms with expert insights from two engineering professionals. Fully expanded to cover the latest methods and software tools, Master Handbook of Acoustics, Fifth Edition presents clear explanations of acoustic phenomena and provides a hands-on approach to room design. Learn how to perform acoustic measurements, choose room dimensions, assign speaker placement, analyze response curves, and design and install sound absorbers and diffusers. You will also find details on how to fine-tune room reverberation, minimize external noise, and apply psychoacoustic concepts.

Superhuman Innovation: Transforming Business with Artificial Intelligence – Chris Duffy

Put simply by our Research and Innovation Development Leader as “an accessible book from Adobe creative director that explains the potentials of AI for innovation and creativity. Oh “more AI” I hear you say, well hear us out. Artificial Intelligence is the new electricity of our times. It is revolutionizing industries the world over and changing how we fundamentally view and understand work. Our staff have been considering how best to apply this ®evolution to the arena of live sound and studio mixing for convenience and speed but how else are these changes going to affect our daily lives. Learn the foundational principles and prepare to be schooled on how AI is about to change everything from your commute to your workflow and how we can all harness this power.

The Art Of Mixing – David Gibson

Old but Gold! Get ready for an in-depth exploration into the aesthetics of what makes a great mix! David Gibson's unique approach to mixing gives you a visual representation of the dynamics of the sounds involved in creating a musical mix. Through this three-dimensional, colourful explanation, you are introduced to a framework that will help you understand everything that an engineer does-- enabling you to not only recognize what you like, but how to achieve it in your studio. Expand your recording techniques by learning what your recording equipment does and how it all works together in a simple, visual manner. From bluegrass to big band, new age to heavy metal, classical to hip-hop, jazz to rap, and alternative rock to techno, Gibson has mapped out everything that can be done to create various effects in all standard mixes. Once you have a perspective on what can be done, you have the power to be truly creative on your own: to make art out of technology.
Featuring invaluable diagrams and visual interpretations on how to mix each genre (seriously they are really helpful) that visually explain instrument placement within the stereo field, while imparting your own your own style and interpretation on the mix. This one comes highly recommended by many of the more musical members of our team.

Mixing Audio: Concepts Practices, Tools – Roey Izhaki

Getting that perfect mix, it’s an elusive and some might say subjective thing. A discipline and an art form all in one, the thing that fills our ears and hearts with excitement, be it in the studio or at side of stage, it can take a lifetime to master and even then you will be still tweaking, cutting and editing in pursuit of perfection.

Whether a hobbyist of professional this book covers basic concepts to advanced techniques as well as tips and tricks and is a vital read for anyone wanting to succeed in the field of mixing.

The Live Sound Manual – Getting Great Sound Every Gig – Ben Duncan

Getting great sound at every gig, that’s what we all want, right? More importantly it’s also what the artist and concert goers always want. We all know that sometimes venue acoustics, technology and numerous other factors can sometimes make that more of a challenge then we would like it to be. So, if you’re the type of engineer that aims to please (if you aren’t then what are you doing out there?) then this is a must-read, as Ben Duncan has written a comprehensive guide to getting great live sound no matter what the conditions.

From faders to frequencies, microphones to mixing, pink noise to polarity, this is the all-inclusive manual for creating the finest sound for live performances. It applies to the entire range of stage performers and their equipment - solo acoustic guitar and vocal, full-scale band requiring complex amplification, or electronica DJ working multiple turntables. Every aspect of live sound is covered, including analysing venue needs, acquiring and managing the ideal sound system, setting up and testing equipment, understanding and applying the theories of acoustics, maintenance, troubleshooting, and much more.


Sound Systems Design and Optimization – Bob McCarthy

You’re a whizz on the console but your sound system and sound reinforcement isn’t up to speed, it isn’t always possible to totally rely on the systems engineer, especially in a recovering industry. This encyclopaedic will fill any gaps in you have in the knowledge back and increase job opportunities

In this guide to sound reinforcement alignment and design, Bob McCarthy shares his expert knowledge and effective methodology from years of teaching audio professionals. Written in a clear and easy-to-read style and illustrated with colour diagrams and screenshots throughout, McCarthy's unique guide gives you all the newest techniques to ensure you perfect sound reinforcement and fulfil design needs.

Outlining how sound is spread over a listening area, looking at the physics of speaker interaction, methods of alignment including mic placement, equalization, speaker placement and acoustic treatment, and now including case studies offering real world examples to fully explore different principals discussed, this book provides the definitive guide to sound reinforcement design and optimization.

Mixing A Musical - Shannon Slaton

You’ve previously only mixed music gigs and musical theatre just isn’t your thing, right? Wrong! While certainly the sexier end of the sound engineering spectrum may be in the music studio or touring with effortlessly cool and charismatic artists, the musical theatre industry is one of the most challenging arenas for any sound engineer. Many of the most prominent engineers on the planet, that have toured with world famous artists, would find themselves flummoxed if asked to mix a production of Miss Saigon, but not you because you are ready to tap into your theatrical side!

Mixing a Musical: Broadway Theatrical Sound Techniques, Second Edition pulls the curtain back on one of the least understood careers in live theatre: the role and responsibilities of the sound technician.
This comprehensive book encompasses every position from shop crew labour to assistant designer to sound board operator and everything in between. Written in a clear and easy to read style, and illustrated with real-world examples of personal experience and professional interviews, Slaton shows you how to mix live theatre shows from the basics of equipment and set ups, using sound levels to creating atmosphere, emotion and tension to ensure a first rate performance every time.